Turkey releases prominent journalists after terror conviction

Turkey releases prominent journalists after terror conviction

PanARMENIAN.Net - A Turkish court has ordered the release of two prominent journalists, after a previous life sentence for terror-related charges over alleged links to the 2016 failed coup was overturned, Deutsche Welle reports.

Ahmet Altan and Nazli Ilicak, both respected intellectuals in Turkey, were previously sentenced to life in prison without parole in 2018 on charges of aiding the network of US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen and attempting to overthrow the government.

In Monday, November 4's ruling, an Istanbul court convicted Altan and Ilicak of a lesser charge of "aiding a terrorist organization," and sentenced Altan to 10.5 years and Ilicak to nearly nine years in prison.

However, it ordered their release under supervision for having already served more than three years in prison.

The court also acquitted journalist Mehmet Altan, Ahmet's brother, for lack of evidence. He had already been released from prison last year.

Monday's retrial came after the Court of Cassation in July overruled the life sentences.

While in prison, Altan continued work on his ambitious series, the Ottoman Quartet, from Silivri Prison outside Istanbul. The fourth book of the series tackles the Armenian Genocide, a subject so taboo in Turkey that anyone who mentions it risks jail for “insulting Turkishness,” Publishers Weekly says.

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